Wednesday, May 06, 2009
One year to go. The last possible date for a General Election is May 2010, and with Gordon Brown's government suffering crisis after crisis it seems highly unlikely the Prime Minister will take his case the country any earlier than he has to. David Cameron has just challenged him once again to hold the election now, but no-one really expects that to happen.
I have often been criticised on this blog for focusing too much on national politics, but I make no apology for doing so again. The truth is that what happens in Westminster has a real effect on people across the country, and the people I represent in Eltham North, and people across the Borough of Greenwich, can see this Government is failing them. We need change at the top, and a new Government is the only way we will get that.
But one effect of Mr Brown clinging on until the last moment is that the General Election will coincide with the London Borough elections, which are due next May. This means locally we have the chance to deliver a triple whammy of change. Not only can we elect a Conservative MP for Eltham by voting for my friend David Gold, and by doing so help put David Cameron in Downing Street; but we can also vote for change in Greenwich by ending nearly 40 years of Labour rule at the Town Hall.
It won't be easy - Conservatives currently have 13 members against 36 Labour, and will need to double our number to win power, but it can be done. In the year that remains, my colleagues will be working hard to achieve all three of those results. My colleague in Eltham North, Spencer Drury, who is standing for Parliament in Greenwich and Woolwich, leads a united team of Conservatives on the Council, and an excellent set of candidates in other wards. We will all be fighting as hard as we can to turf out two failed Labour administrations. This is vitally important, not for the political satisfaction (although it would be considerable), but so we can end the complacency and arrogance which is doing so much damage. Our school results locally are a scandal, there is waste and incompetence in social services and housing, and people are not getting value for the taxes they pay. Too often, Labour simply do not acknowledge these problems, let alone deal with them. If Gordon Brown seems determined to combine local and national elections next year, the countdown starts here, and we will relish the fight.
[Thanks to ConservativeHome for the graphic above]